Friday, November 10, 2006

Facing Defeat

MANNY PACQUIAO IS yet to face the monumental battle of his boxing career. On Sunday, November 19, he will slug it out on a championship fight against the highly acclaimed Erik Morales, now on its third edition.
In their first meeting, Pacquiao shamelessly vowed to Morales in a unanimous decision where blood streamed from his face like a river. I almost cried watching that fight and said to myself, his career is over. Over just like the sound of IT'S OVER in Playstation's Fight Night when a game ends. Done. Zip. Through. Finished.
Little did the rest of the world know that it had spawned a great spirit inside Manny that catapulted him into a different zone of vengeance. A rematch was immediately agreed upon and during this time, Pacquiao nicknamed the “Pacman”, stole away the victory with a convincing win by knocking down Erik on the 11th round. It was a left hook that fell on the right side of Erik’s cheeks while wading his head left and right trying to avoid power packed punches. It took Erik down into the canvass for the first time ever since he learned that boxing is life itself.
That victory has propelled Manny to the highest imaginable level of fame in this celebrity-strucked country. His convincing win against El Terrible gave him the passport to sing and release a music CD which were sold out minutes after he won the second fight. It awarded him not only millions of dollars from Top Rank but also a galore of tv commercials, paid endorsements and even the “champion for life” medal by GMA. It gave him the right to sing for you, extremely and magically in front of your tv sets. And he even tried to convince everyone how sour datu pute tastes like.
A night ago, my main-man friend Markus asked me who I think would win in the Grand Finale. Trying to sound with less concern, my mouth went wide open and instantly announced the name Erik. He followed with a question, "is it because Morales will beat Pacquiao, or I just don't like Manny to win?" I bluffed but managed to utter a reasonable intervention. Morales is the underdog, and the one that is very hungry to win. The only similar reason I found in the papers, newsfeeds and blogs that Erik keeps on saying is that he's sole purpose is to win, plain and simple, and get back his shattered credibility. No media highlights, no press releases, not even the money, simply win and beat Manny for himself. It is like putting yourself in a forbidden island and the only way for you to survive is by walking barefooted in sand dune under a scorching sun. And since you don't want to die, you'll used up all your life's energy to get back home.
On the contrary, of course I wanted Manny to win. But I can no longer see the same Pacquiao I've seen in his last two fights against El Terible. And his match versus Larios was a dud! I only learned how to hate Channel 2 more because of the infinite commercials in between the rounds.
I know that siding against Manny Pacquiao is going against millions of Filipinos. But does that make me non-patriotic? Certainly not. The Filipino life is a life of struggle and endless search, and inspirations such as Pacquiao's life in the boxing ring makes us proud and believe that there is indeed light at the end of our own tunnels.
If El Terible defeats Pacman, (which I think he will) some will win with it, while the majority will weep and cry. I'm sure Manny will just shrug it off and fight another day. I have my own battles to fight and whenever I lose, I also feel the same way.

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